Priorities for Different-Sized Groups

Thanks to the organizers of EA Oxford and EA MIT for contributing to this page.

Groups will always be time and funding-constrained, so prioritising between activities is critical. A group’s prioritisation strategy depends on several factors: the group’s stage of development; its members’ demographic, needs and preferences; and its organisers’ skill sets.

To begin prioritising, determine your group’s stage of development. We identify three stages below, organised by group size. All priorities from earlier stages apply to later stages.

We recommend that group organisers tailor our general approach to fit your specific circumstances. It is useful to create a document which lists group priorities. You should revisit the list at fixed intervals, such as every six months, or at the end of every semester. These documents can help you to stay on-track, evaluate progress, and adjust your goals.

Small/New

Small groups generally have 1-2 group organisers and <10 regular group members.

Recommended priorities:

Medium-sized

Medium groups generally have 3-5 group organisers and 10-20 regular group members. Without fail-safes and proper infrastructure, many medium-sized groups may contract.

Recommended priorities:

  • Complete the small-group tasks listed above

  • Consider having one or more of your organizers apply for part-time or full-time funding to run your group, by viewing the options here

  • Connect group members to the broader EA community, i.e. via encouraging them to apply for EA Global / EAGx events

  • Develop an overarching group strategy with goals to achieve within a given timeframe

  • Establish infrastructure to maintain the group’s level of activity. Developing formalised group roles may help

  • Have a robust handover process in case current organisers may leave

  • Increase engagement in all parts of the funnel model of engagement in EA

    • Move people from “audience” to “followers” by reaching out to people who haven’t heard of EA before, for example through introductory presentations

    • Move people from “followers” to “participants” by holding events that help new people become more knowledgeable about EA like reading groups

    • Move people from “participants” to “contributors” by supporting people to conduct projects, volunteer, attend conferences (e.g. EA Global), take the Giving What We Can pledge, or make EA-aligned career changes.

    • Move people from “contributors” to “core” by helping them with their career plans via career one-on-ones or workshops

  • Set up a website so people can find you more easily

Large

Large groups have >5 organisers who invest substantial time into the group, possibly including paid part- or full-time organisers. They're generally at least a few years old with an active membership of 50+ members, large enough to support subcommunities with different interest areas or demographics. Dissolution of large groups is improbable.

Recommended priorities:

  • Complete the small and medium-group tasks listed above

  • Attract new members who might be particularly valuable to the EA community

  • Provide resources to support EA projects

  • Organise showpiece events with high-profile speakers

  • Build excellent brand-presence via your website and perhaps social media

  • Consider incubating or spinning off cause-specific groups